The highland Altai region in western Mongolia is remote and rugged but blessed with unspoiled nature and amazing landscape. The region is mainly resided by ethnic Kazakh herders, who move around according to seasons, bringing along their mobile home the yurts and livestock, such as horses, camels, sheep, and cows. In this trip, we shall follow a household – the family patriarch is also an eagle hunter – to experience the annual migration from winter spot to spring grazing ground. The migration route is tough, and the weather merciless, yet the herders exhibit their resilience and adaptability to the environment in accomplishing the migration year after year, generation after generation.
This is a migration trip like no other, a journey with a family, through thick and thin.
Board a late-night flight from Kuala Lumpur International Airport, fly to Seoul, Korea for transit to Mongolia. (Remarks: tour members embarking from other countries may opt to meet the group during transit or in Ulaanbaatar)
Morning lands in Seoul, then catch a connecting flight to Ulaanbaatar, upon arrival transfer to a hotel in downtown. After lunch, may take a stroll at the nearby Chenghis Khan Square. Retire early to bed to catch domestic flight tomorrow.
Early morning transfer to airport, catch a domestic flight to Olgii, the provincial capital of Bayan-Olgii in Altai region. Lunch upon arrival, later, visit the local market, where members could stock up winter gears suitable for local weather if needed, such as thick wool socks, gloves, winter cap. Overnight in Olgii.
Day 1 migration. After breakfast, transfer to Ulaanhus, where the host family – the patriarch is eagle hunter – winter home is located. Join the herder family for the first day of migration. Walk 30km with thousands of animals, the support cars will follow the group, in case tour members get exhausted or feeling too cold, may hop into the support car. Overnight in yurt.
Day 2 of the migration. Moving slowly through snow carpeted landscape, facing possible challenges from weather condition. Today’s overnight spot is at Buudal, a state-owned camp dedicated for nomads when they make a stop before the high pass at lake Khar nuur. The nomads of Sagsai and Ulaank-hus make a stop at Buudal for shelter.
Day 3 of migration. Today’s route would be more challenging, as the snow is deeper and the area very windy. Some weak animals might not be able to follow the pace of migration, and instead would be transported by camels. Witness how the nomads overcome difficulties and find solutions for ensuring a smooth migration.
Final day of migration. Arrive at the spring camp in the afternoon, being welcomed by women and children of the family, who have reached the new home ground a few days ago with truck. A sumptuous dinner will be served in celebration of a successful migration. Share the joy of the family and enjoy traditional Kazakh food.
After arrival the spring pasture, stay with the nomad family for few days and helping them for daily job, like clean up the sheepfolds or shovel snow, experience the nomad life personally.
A leisurely day spent at the Spring camp. It is a beautiful and isolated spot in the snow covered mountains of Altai Tavan Bogd national park near the lake Dayan nuur. Make a day trip to Dayan nuur, exploring the area and driving on ice (or one might even walk on the frozen lake).
Today we shall learn more about the eagle hunting tradition. The eagle hunters mounted on horseback with their golden eagles, giving explanation and demonstration on how it works. In the evening, gather around bonfire for a farewell party with the host family, sing and dance the night away.
Bid farewell to the host family, a long drive back to Olgii. Upon arrival, check in to a hotel and have a good scrub down, finally, hot bath/ shower is available.
Explore Olgii by visiting the view point, local market, looking for souvenirs, or enjoy a cup a coffee at the café. At night, enjoy a small concert by Kazakh folk singers, accompanied by traditional instruments.
Take a domestic flight back to the capital city Ulaanbaatar. Suggest going for Korean food for dinner, the city has a sizable Korean community and offers authentic Korean cuisine.
After check out, transfer to airport. Take a flight to Seoul, Korea for transit, however, due to extended layover hours, upon landing in Seoul, check-in to a hotel nearby the airport for rest before boarding the connecting flight the next day.
Early morning transfer back to the airport for the connecting flight bound for Kuala Lumpur. Arrival in the afternoon.
A non-refundable deposit (unless tour cancelled by LevArt) of RM 2,400 is payable to secure booking. Balance fee RM 8,000 to be collected upon booking deadline or when the tour is fully booked.
Full terms & conditions (eg: cancellation policy) please click here.
Ving leads a varied and colourful life. Besides working in the advertising industry as a commercial director, he also forms an underground band and showcases his musical talent on stage. During the pandemic, he ventured into the food industry and founded the brand “Da Niu Bake Pie”, selling meat pies online and eventually developed into a physical shop.
He tends to traverse on the unusual path, even for travel, he opted for the challenging way – cycling 320 days overland from Malaysia, crossing one border after another, and finally reaching Europe and ended in Italy. The journey not only tested his perseverance, but also enriched his worldview.
Please don’t rush into signing-up! Alternative travel may be a culture shock for some. The best memories from a journey are often overcoming various challenges with your team mates. Please understand our style of travel before booking.
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